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10 Ways to Better Utilise Your Time After Work

10 Ways to Better Utilise Your Time After Work

During our lives we constantly strive for accomplishments in our career, and we educate ourselves to reach certain goals according to our ambitions. Being successful in the field we love brings us a lot of happiness, as well as a substantial paycheck at the end of the month, which allows us to provide for our family and go on vacations, have a nice life, and buy some unnecessary material things that simply make us happy.

However, in these busy lives we lead, we mustn’t forget that at the end, success will mean nothing if we forget about our loved ones, and let them forget us. You are never too busy to do everything you want after work, but all you need is a little guide to help you better utilize your limited free time.

1. End your working day at fixed time

“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” – John Wooden

Working overtime brings nothing but bad results, and it makes it impossible to have a private life. As you probably have many other things planned out, if you work overtime you won’t be capable of doing much more than falling on your bed and sleeping till the morning.

If you want to have enough energy to have a life separate from your career, then you should definitely end your workday at a fixed time, so that you can organize your schedule better.

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2. Rest for thirty minutes alone

These days, we are all somehow always in a hurry. We don’t know how to rest and relax anymore. Even having coffee with friends seems to have become a quick 30 minute update of what’s happening in their lives. When was the last time you just sat in a quiet environment and let your thoughts fly around the room?

In order to cope with all the stress you are facing every day, you need to learn to evaluate your day and think about everything that happened. If you don’t, you just pile up all the negativity, and start doing something else as soon as you get home, until you forget everything. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother you subconsciously. So, sit down for at least 30 minutes, take a cup of coffee or tea, and turn off everything that can distract you. Don’t let anything disturb you while you enjoy the silence. This way, you will definitely get some rest from the busy day behind you, and solve all the problems in your head.

3. Plan your next week during the weekend

We tend to make a lot of plans for the following week, but often forget about them, even if we have written them down. Because of this, you should take an hour to organize your life during the weekend.

Moreover, when you make a plan to have dinner with family or friends, you usually write it down while you are in a hurry, or just agree, relying on your good memory to keep a schedule. When you sit down on Saturday or Sunday, don’t forget to go through your mail and messages and check if you agreed to something you possibly forgot.

4. Say “no”

“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho

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You don’t have much time after work to do everything you want to, so you need to learn to say “no” to people if you want to survive your working week. I’m sure you want to see your friend, parents, fix something around your house, and spend quality time with your family after work; unfortunately, the day is really short, and you cannot make it all happen.

Lucky for you, there are more days in the week, so you will certainly find an hour to see your friends some other day. If you still cannot make it, don’t force your plans, but tell your friends or family that you’ll inform them when you will be available during the weekend and see if that suits them. Now you understand the importance of that one hour of planning, scheduling, and writing everything down.

Also, if your colleagues want you to help them with something that you’ll have to work overtime for, don’t automatically say “yes” but think about it. If you reschedule something at the last minute, it can make a complete chaos in your weekly schedule.

5. Write a blog

“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.” – Pat Conroy

Nowadays, almost everyone has a blog and writes their opinion on a wide range of topics. If you ever wondered why people do it, maybe you should start your own blog and see for yourself. Writing our thoughts and sharing can help us deal with certain situations and be a reminder of how we felt at a certain point in our life. Basically, it is your journal that helps you avoid making the same mistakes, while at the same time helping other people deal with similar issues.

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Your life is probably chaotic, and planning is getting tougher. When writing, your chaotic blog posts will soon become organized articles, and this will train your brain to start thinking in a more structured and logical manner. Also, both your job and private life will benefit, as you will have a clear picture of how you evolved as a person and the things you have accomplished along the way. Getting started is fairly easy, you just need to think of a good name, register a domain name, look into affordable hosting, and get a nice WordPress theme (a lot of which are free).

You can have a blog up and running within a day, and then you can start expressing your creativity, which will help you deal with your problems and emotions, and help you gain a few online followers. After some time of writing a blog, compare your decisions to the ones you were making before you started writing regularly. Don’t be surprised to find a noticeable improvement.

6. Know your priorities

In order to better utilize your time, you need to know your priorities. Don’t neglect important things in your life, just because something comes up unexpectedly. If you really want something, you’ll make it happen. The best way to make it happen is not to let other things get in the way.

If your child has their first recital, and you have a lot of work left to complete for tomorrow, remember that big moment will stay imprinted in your child’s memory forever. It is very important to be capable of filtering things, so feel free to postpone a few unimportant tasks and write them down on a piece of paper. You’ll find a way to make them happen later.

7. Adapt other plans to your schedule

Having a life outside of work is incredibly important. During your free time, you can recharge your batteries, do your favorite hobby and be with your family. When planning some other events, make sure you don’t adapt your personal schedule to them, but vice versa.

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8. Exercise before work

By exercising before work you will leave more time after work to dedicate to some other responsibilities, and at the same time prepare yourself for the stressful day ahead of you. If you are used to exercising after work, try jogging or working out in the morning instead. You’ll certainly increase your productivity, as those endorphins will help you keep your cool and stay focused. If you haven’t tried doing exercises in the morning, definitely give it a go and see how your body and mind respond.

9. Ignore social media and turn off your laptop

This has certainly happened to you at some point. You start scrolling your News Feed or chatting with your friends, and when you look at the watch you realize you’ve been doing that for an hour or even more. This is a really bad habit, as you waste a lot of time on something pointless. When you come home from work, and you immediately start logging into all of your accounts, you begin to slowly distance yourself from reality and you lose track of time. This way, instead of playing or talking with your partner and children, you end up wasting time on social media.

If you want to be productive, use the time spent on Facebook or Twitter to promote yourself or your company, and keep it short. You can use the hour or two you’ll save to grab a drink with your friends at the closest bar, and get your news and gossip firsthand. You cannot just disconnect, as we are all used to going through our News Feeds, but you can set a reminder and limit your use of social media.

10. Don’t plan too many things

People become chaotic and disorganized when they want to squeeze all of their plans in one evening. Now, you need to face it – it is impossible. It is completely understandable that you want to do all of those interesting things at once, but you cannot clone yourself (at least for now).

Don’t plan too many things. By using your priority formula and the saying “no” strategy, you can easily decide what plans you’ll go through with, and which ones will have to be postponed or even cancelled. Even if you manage to make a tight schedule that will allow you to do it all, you’ll still sacrifice something and only be in a hurry the whole time.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things happening in our lives. It’s really hard to keep track of everything that is happening. However, you need to think about your family, friends, and yourself in order to be able to organize well and utilize your time after work in the best possible manner.

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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